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Experience of cancer patients improves

Slight increases seen in dignity and speed and choice of treatment

Ingrid Torjesen

Friday, 17 August 2012

More cancer patients are reporting that they are treated with respect, given treatment choices and are benefitting from better services than a year ago, according to survey results released by the Department of Health.

The second national cancer patient experience survey shows 98 trusts have improved on their results from last year and overall 88 per cent of patients surveyed rated their overall care as excellent or very good.

Results on speed of treatment, choice of treatment and dignity all increased slightly. The proportion of patients who felt they were seen as soon as necessary by a hospital doctor rose to 83 per cent from 81 per cent in 2010, and the proportion given a choice of treatment before their treatment started rose to 84 per cent from 83 per cent.

A total of 94 per cent of patients, compared to 93 per cent in 2010, said that they were always given enough privacy when being examined or treated. Receiving clear answers to their questions and being treated with respect remained steady at 91 per cent and 83 per cent respectively.

Health Secretary Lansley said: “We want an NHS which puts patients at the heart of everything, with a focus on the care given and results which matter most to people. This survey shows we are heading in the right direction.

“Where Trusts are doing less well, I would urge them to look at what patients are telling them and take action so that cancer care best practice is adopted across the whole of the NHS.”

Juliet Bouverie, Director of Services, Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “It is fantastic news that so many Trusts have improved in the experience they provide cancer patients in one year.

“However it is essential that this is the case across all cancer types. People who have rarer cancers should not be treated any worse than those with a common cancer.”

The ten most improved trusts were:

  • Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust
  •  Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Tameside Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
  •  The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust
  •  East Kent University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  •  University Hospital Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
  •  South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Norfolk & Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  •  Medway NHS Foundation Trust

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